As social media brands rise and fall, and old and new media duke it out for our attention, it’s easy to forget that the humble newsletter is often the unsung hero of modern communication.
Indeed, there are three-times more email accounts in operation right now than Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. The newsletter trounces social media when it comes to engagement too: When asked to opt-in to receive updates from a company, only 10% do so through Facebook, while 90% choose to receive email newsletters.
So, assuming you agree that a newsletter from your company is a good idea, what are the essential ingredients? And – perhaps more importantly – what are the practices to avoid?
Here’s a quick rundown:
Optimise for Mobile
We promise not to bamboozle you with too many statistics, but did you know that 41% of emails are opened on a mobile device? And email “triage” is on the rise – meaning that many are glancing at emails on mobile devices only to read them in further depth later.
So with nearly half of your newsletters read on a mobile device (at least initially), it’s safe to assume that your missive will appear on a small screen.
Have you ever read an email or site on your phone or tablet when it wasn’t mobile-optimised? It’s painful, isn’t it? More importantly – have you ever read it all the way through?
Make the Most of Your Subject Line
We understand that you’ve a lot you want to say to your customers. And hopefully your email is exciting and brimming with relevant, valuable content. But a dry, vague or overly busy subject line is off-putting. Instead, just use a quick tease of the newsletter’s content – the copy inside will do the rest of the talking.
Good content is valuable content. It is not badgering, aggressive or tacky. You want your customers or staff to be happier when they’ve finished reading the email than before they opened it.
Appealing content could be special offers, competitions, interesting news about your company or helpful or compelling stories that might speak to your customers. The content doesn’t even have to be about your company – it might reflect on your expertise, look at trends in your field, or simply be something you believe your specific audience will enjoy reading.
Have faith in your content and your newsletter: It exists to help your company’s image and tell its story, not to harangue innocent email recipients for money!
Send Without Testing
Finally, for the love of all that is sacred, test your newsletter first! All newsletter software has a testing function, and this is the time to iron out any issues or typos.
What might have looked perfect in design might be ugly in an inbox. Testing takes mere moments and prevents potential embarrassments.
If you’d like to chat to us about anything relating to content or newsletters, feel free to get in touch.